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  • Writer's pictureMitchell Weitzman

2024 Lexus UX 250h Premium review: Getting better

The updated UX has improved electronics inside and the reduced price for this Premium starts to make more sense

2024 Lexus UX 200h review | The Road Beat

2024 Lexus UX 250h Premium review with The Road Beat

Words and pictures by Mitchell Weitzman

There's no hiding the fact that I haven't been exactly kind towards the Lexus UX. With a price tag that confounds, and no sporting element to be find in their so-called F-Sport versions I've sampled in the past, not to mention the vile infection of their notorious trackpad, it could never be recommended to spend so much money on such a small, mundane car. Enter 2024 and this (somehow) more affordable Premium trim-level (rather than the faux F-Sport), and now I can see how it makes some sense in its niche.

Changes are not plentiful, but they are meaningful. Most noteworthy is the redaction of their horrible mousepad interface and a simple touchscreen replacement item. Going from the worst to one of the easiest is no simple feat, but that's what Lexus has done. It's not a beautiful screen with fancy graphics, and at times is a little too stark in color, but it's easy and that's what matters. This area was the single largest complaint in a variety of recent Lexus, so the amendment is highly welcomed; Nor more risking veering into a ditch just to change the radio!

2024 Lexus UX 200h review

My most recent UX prior was a 2023 F-Sport model that cost an eye-watering $47,440, a price point that questions one's sanity if paid in full. A car, or any product bearing the adjective (and noun in this case) Premium attached as its denoted nomenclature, might be fearful at first, but alas, this Premium version is somehow less premium when it comes to MSRP, retailing at $41,645. That's a huge difference. And after a week with this edition, where the heck does that extra six thousand dollars go in the F Sport besides a poser body kit?

On the inside, this UX 250h Premium fulfills its promise with an interior that is easily, you guessed it, quite premium, especially compared to cars like a larger Toyota RAV4 that costs the same. I don't believe the seats are leather, but they're among the best when it comes to imitation cowhide and will fool most people. The steering wheel, however, is indeed leather, and feels great in the hand. Looking to the side, the door panels are somewhat barren and plain, and are the obvious weak point of an otherwise nice interior, but most won't care. Another notice was a cabin that could be ever so slightly quieter on the freeway, exhibiting more road and wind noise than I'd want in a luxury car.

2024 Lexus UX 200h premium interior

What can be concerning to many is an apparent lack of real estate inside. Now, if you're in either of the front seats, both chairs are very comfortable and with room to spare, if a little cozy. However, because the UX shares its platform and wheelbase with a Toyota C-HR at just 103.9", which is two inches shorter than that of even a Corolla, leg room is not quite what you'd call abundant. Put it this way, if your friends (and that's friends plural) are riding with you for over a half hour, they hopefully are too appreciative to complain. Cargo space is even worse, with a shallow depth and tall floor further limited by the sloping rear end. Not what you'd call a spacious vehicle, boasting a smaller cabin than the 177" total length would suggest. A RAV4 is only a few inches longer, but is vastly bigger when it comes to cubic volume.

Thankfully, more positives include outstanding fuel economy. With a 181-horsepower hybrid system, you won't be winning any drag races thanks to its long 8.5-second 0-60 MPH jog, but you can expect to average 37 MPG in most mixed driving, a rather fantastic figure. Yet, the downside is this is one of the slower vehicles you can buy for this kind of money, but then again, Lexus' targeted audience likely won't care luckily. An unfortunate side effect of this four-cylinder design is an engine that lacks refinement when wrung out, emitting a noise that is far from pleasing and luxurious. Under brisk acceleration, this front-wheel drive example also displayed a minor amount of play in the steering in the guise of torque steer, as the weight transfers rearwards and lightens the front when you plant your right foot down..

2024 lexus ux200h interior rear seats

Those seeking driver engagement will also be best advised to look elsewhere. Though it's plenty secure on most all roadways, and with controlled, compliant suspension, steering is completely numb with body responses that reveal a lack of enthusiasm for cornering. Better options are out there if you're seeking dynamic driving, like BMW's X1 or Mazda's CX-30, both of which are massively quicker, too, but the typical Lexus or Toyota customer will find this familiar and pleasant enough. Good news is that this Premium drives unnoticeably different from its wannabe sporty F-Sport sibling, which is part of the reason that particular car is such a sham.

And so that brings us back to the price. At $41,645, this now nearly makes sense, being a compact luxury product priced at the bottom of the luxury spectrum. Some drivers might want or even require a small car, but want added comfort and luxury, and the UX delivers that brief with excellent economy to boot. At the $47,440 the prior F-Sport I tried cost, the size is far too compromising to justify spending nearly 50 grand on (and overlaps the superior and larger Lexus NX hybrid), but in this lower bracket, it's a nice little car that might fit a particular niche for some with lots of amenities. I still think the UX 250h is too boring to drive for my own taste, and I'd rather save a few thousand and have the easily more exciting (but relatively thirsty) Mazda CX-30 Turbo, but that's just me. Overall, a nicely made and small hybrid that could make sense to some.

2024 Lexus UX 250h Premium

Price as-tested: $41,645

Pros: Great economy; Compact size

Cons: Compact size. Lacks driving vigor


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